a. Don’t have a good answer here…a few years back, I went to California to see my youngest kid, told him, out of the blue, I was going to write a book and finish it. I’m a creative and I believe I had a lot of unfinished works of art around the house. He said in typical twenty-something fashion, “Uh, okay, mom.” When I arrived home I sat down and wrote an entire book in six weeks. Haven’t stopped since. It’s truly changed my life. Best therapy I ever invested in.
2. Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre?
a. I don’t know the answer to this question. I like to write in both paranormal and contemporary. Since I’m not yet making a gazillion dollars on my writing, I figure I can experiment freely.
3. What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing?
a. Oh, man, I LOVE writing. Crafting stories. Creating worlds and situations. Designing covers. The art part of it is extremely satisfying. You know when I’m between books at my house because I get grumpy.
4. Who are some of your favorite authors & why?
a. Gosh, I read so much it’s a changing sea of favorites. Both JR Ward and Karen Marie Moning were inspirations to write. Oh, and Diana Gabaldon. Current faves include Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files series), Lianne Moriarty, and Helen Wecker. I like a book that’s intelligent, interesting, well-written and not a cookie cutter kind of story. There are SO MANY BOOKS out there that seem like the author pulled a plot off the shelf, plunked in a few characters, changing the names, and called it good.
5. What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author?
a. We all want to make “the lists” (USA Today and NYT, as well as top 100 Amazon), earn loads of money and get movie offers. The hard part is waiting for reviews, waiting for sales, putting yourself out there and not getting the notice you wanted, not comparing yourself to others, etc. In other words, the sales and marketing part. I also can’t stand hearing stories of my author pals who aren’t getting paid by their publishers. It’s a difficult business to make a living at. But the art part is a blast, as well as all the wonderful people I’ve met through my writing.
6. Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers?
a. Hang in there, baby. It takes time to build a following, make a masterpiece, become a bestselling author. Don’t compare yourself to others – we’re all in this mess together. Do your best to avoid reading reviews, good and bad. It’s like riding a scary rollercoaster. Network, network, network. Find time to do other things besides write and obsess about sales. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
7. Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional!
a. Let’s see…I’m an adventure junkie who gets scared a lot. Example – went bike riding in the rain a week ago. Took out off the trail, through the woods. Path was muddy and I couldn’t get any purchase but I’m pretty agile so there was no real reason to be scared. I needed to say “Wait. Hold on. I need a moment to have a chat with myself.” That’s usually all it takes to unwind my wound up self.
b. I’m a contradiction unto myself. Sometimes I’m not scared when I should be. While scuba diving a couple weeks ago, I laughed at an octopus who was trying to scare me.
He was huge, I was close, he flared out and flattened against the wall trying to look like a badass. I know he wanted me to swim away, not laugh at him. I probably should have swum away. He might have wrapped his arm(s) around me and they’re heavy and strong.
c. I make good money as a web/graphic designer yet hope to someday drop kick it when the book income rolls in.
d. I make a terrible wife and an awful employee. That’s why I own my business and my sweetie pie and I never tied the knot. We’ve been together for 12 years and are happy, happy, happy.
Thanks so much, Calinda!
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